Military software engineers have developed software which has been proven to predict the social structures of street gangs. According to the BBC, Police and intelligence hope that by data mining it is possible to identify patterns that could help them solve and predict crimes.
Organised crime is run a bit like a business, with chains of command and responsibility, different specialised “departments”, recruitment initiatives and opportunities for collaboration and trade. Their structures often make crime syndicates and gangs better at evading coppers.
Violent street gangs seem to be set up along similar lines to insurgent groups that stage armed resistance to political authority, such as guerrilla forces in areas of civil war. A team at the West Point Military Academy in the US state of New York has just released details of a software package it has developed to aid intelligence gathering by police dealing with street gangs. Dubbed Orca (Organization, Relationship, and Contact Analyzer), can use real-world data acquired from arrests and the questioning of suspected gang members to deduce the network structure of a gang.
It can work out the likely affiliations of individuals who will not admit to being members of any specific gang, as well as the sub-structure of gangs and the identities of leaders.